by Brooke Tolman
(last updated March 15, 2010)
Showers, since used so often, tend to get dirty pretty quick. The last thing you want in your house is a dirty shower, as it can be a holding cell for many bacteria and fungi. Not such a pleasant thought to think about showering with those creatures. Good thing there's so many different types of cleaners out on the market to help keep your shower clean, just the way you like it.
First thing to think about before buying a shower cleaner is what type of dirt inhabits your shower. Is it simply a build up of soap scum or are you dealing with the harder stuff like mold and mildew? Depending on what it is, you should probably buy a different cleaner to target each one. The other thing to think about when you're going to buy shower cleaner is how often you clean your shower. A lot of products can prevent mold and mildew if sprayed every or every other day, however some people don't have time for that. In their case, they'd want to go for something more heavy duty, and probably a little more expensive, that will wipe of mold and mildew for a couple weeks at least.
If you're attacking the soap scum build up in your shower, any basic bathroom cleaner will work. Ajax works wonders on soap scum since it is so abrasive, it wipes it right off. The only thing you need to watch with that is that you wipe all the Ajax off, or else it will dry and your shower will end up looking worse off than it started. Spray something like Tilex shower cleaner around every time you hop out of your shower, and say goodbye to soap scum forever. When cleaning up soap scum, don't forget to spray down your shower curtain or shower door, as it is a common victim of soap scum that many people fail to realize and clean.
When it comes to cleaning mildew and mold out of your shower, this is a whole different story. Once mold starts growing in cracks and caulking of your shower, it can be really hard to get out without some powerful cleaner. Many people recommend using bleach to do so. While bleach is great and getting rid of the mold, it can potentially be harmful to your health. If using it, make sure to keep the bathroom door open to promote air flow and to mix it with water, so you're not using straight bleach. If you don't want to go the bleach route, Tilex, as mentioned above, works not only on soap scum, but on mold as well. Just make sure to spray the molded area with a high concentration of the spray. Homemade based shower cleaners are used often too. Common household items such as peroxide and vinegar work to get rid of mildew and mold as well. Just spray it on and let it sit for awhile and it should do the trick.
When it comes to shower cleaners, there's no cure-all formula that will fix everyone's soap scum problems. The only way to find out what works for you and your bathroom is to try a bunch of different products out and see which one you like best.
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